Tag Archives: walking

A walk by the water

Yesterday, the second half of the year began and with the weather pretending to be springlike we went for a stroll along the edge of the Pauatahanui Inlet. The light from the sun was golden, the air still in sheltered spots and the temperature surprisingly mild.

Birdlife was abundant and active, although a low tide meant photographs were tricky to take, even with a zoom.

The White faced Heron was happy to show its elegant footwork once we sat down and were quiet. It appeared to have plenty of food on offer in the shallows.

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This spot is a favourite for the local Kingfisher population and there were plenty about. They like to sit in the trees, scope out their next meal (mostly small mud crabs) and dive swiftly to catch it.

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This one was more than happy to sit on a rock and look about. It looks very well fed!  Camera gear and equipment needs to be much more elaborate than mine to get good photographs of these zippy, beautiful birds.

These flowers (Kniphofia) displayed winter warmth.

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Our stroll took us past Toe Toe, which always respond to any breeze or wind blowing and can look very stream-lined and active.

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Then past this tree having shed its leaves but glowing with life still. ( The strength of the prevailing wind can be seen in its shape – we really do have tree-bendy winds here)

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And the light on the water was magical.

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Light on the water

Recently we spent some time up on the Kapiti Coast. The weather was perfect and once the heat began to ebb from the day we went to explore the walk along the Waikanae river that is accessed from the Otaihanga Domain.

When we had young children and when my mother lived near this spot we spent many happy times there.
The Domain is a very large flat grassy area which is perfect for ball games and for children running and playing. It is circled by many leafy trees such Weeping Willows which provide shade and opportunities to climb. It also has the benefit of being a more sheltered spot from our trade mark winds. Many people picnic there. And I see from the link to Otaihanga Domain that there is now a very impressive children’s playground.

The river forms the boundary on one side of the Domain and allows for paddling and dabbling and swimming if there is enough water in the river.

Across a suspension bridge is a path to the left which leads to the beach or other branches which can lead to places we have yet to explore.

To the beach.  Kapiti Island in the distance.

To the beach. Kapiti Island in the distance.


My eye was drawn to the light on the water as we crossed over the bridge.
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And then as we moved down the river pathway.
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A Pukeko family were drawn to the water to dabble casting their own effects on the water and the light playing on it.
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I felt freed from the many pressing challenges that have been part of my daily life for a long time as I watched the light and its interplay with the water. It is impossible to know what the exact dynamics were but that added to the mystery which attracts. And if it was the water playing with the light or the light playing with the water it did not matter in the least as the flow of both was so soothing and relaxing.

This quote from artist James Turrell, that popped into my email inbox minutes before I began to write this post, has added an even more interesting dynamic for me to reflect on deeply.

I mean, light is a substance that is, in fact a thing, but we don’t attribute thing-ness to it. We use light to illuminate other things, something we read, sculpture, painting. And it gladly does this. But the most interesting thing to find is that light is aware that we are looking at it, so that it behaves differently when we are watching it and when we’re not, which imbues it with consciousness. – James Turrell

Paws and Pause

There has been a pause in my blogging in the past wee while. In part it has been due to the owner of these paws.
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Jazz, our cat, is almost 15 years old and in the past 3 months ageing has suddenly impacted on him. We knew earlier this year that he has arthritis in his lower spine which means he can no longer spring nimbly and strongly using his back legs.
Then in August his pain levels increased and it was discovered that he had slipped a disc in his back in a different area of his spine. With advice and treatment from the vet that has healed up. However we then noticed he was limping on his front leg/s. X rays show that he has quite severe degeneration in his front elbows and their elbows take a fair percentage of a cat’s weight as they move about.

So Jazz is sore and stiff and now an indoor cat on various medications to support him and keep him as comfy as we can. He has always been a very sociable and lively cat. Not one to sleep contentedly in the garden. Neighbours often reported his visits and some of the neighbours lived a fair distance away. I think Jazz has worn out, not rusted out, as the saying goes.
Increasing the care of a cat requires increased observation, clock watching to time pain relief, tempting an appetite now borne of suspicion about what else might be added in to the food, encouraging more water consumption during hot days in a hot house and of course lots of extra patting and attention.

Jazz does send his Christmas Greetings however having settled for some of today in this Christmas hamper box:-)
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At the same time I have been hobbling with a sore left knee. I too have some degenerative changes and up until late November there was a mysterious “loose body” that appeared on images of the joint. After several unpleasant locking incidents this year I agreed to an arthroscopy. The “loose body” was deftly plucked out and I am pleased to report that my knee is feeling much freer and lighter.

My challenge now is to get my knee moving fully again after all the hobbling about. The joint has become stiff and reluctant to straighten and bend fully. So exercises are a big part of my daily routine now. Holding on to the kitchen bench is a great place for knee exercises and I am on increasingly friendly terms with my physiotherapist. As well I am walking further each day as I rebuild my fitness, stamina and remind my brain to walk normally again.

A walk around the Upper Lake

After I picked up some provisions from the local shops I went for a walk along the side of the Upper Lake in my suburb. We have two man-made lakes and the upper one is smaller, more wooded and quiet. It seemed an ideal place to walk, to reflect and to focus the camera.

A short distance down the path I came across these four geese.

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On the lake were these white ducks.

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As I approached the geese, two pukekos emerged from the long grass and headed to the lakeside, wary of my intrusion.

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Many native trees grow along this path but there are also homes on the left-hand side and a splash of vibrant colour caught my eye in one spot.

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I paused at seat near the lake edge and looked out at the water-lilies and the reflection in the water of one patch of blue sky.

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We have some unusual looking trees in our bush. This Lancewood is one. It makes me think of primeval times.

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My camera batteries died as I neared the steep incline at the end of the lake. That seemed a good indication that it was time to head home.

Walk this way

The mayor of our city is the youngest mayor in New Zealand. He is young and innovative and has been showing the way to healthy fitness and weight management by walking and swimming.

Last night in my suburb, which has a network of walkways, the first of the Mayoral walks was undertaken.

“Join the Mayor and “bend his ear” on the Porirua Mayoral Walk Series
Porirua is home to a beautiful harbour and a stunning array of spectacular landscapes and – but often we’re too busy to take the time to explore everything our city has to offer.
Mayor Nick Leggett has organized a series of “Mayoral Walks” that will allow residents, community groups and businesses to join him in taking full advantage of Porirua’s awesome natural assets – and help keep fit and healthy at the same time!” Source: Porirua City Council Website.

The route through our suburb included our street and we watched as 40 people participated in the walk with the Mayor. I’m not sure how much talking to the Mayor was happening as we live in a hilly part of the area but it was good to see a new approach to celebrating the walking tracks in our city, led by the city leader and some of the councillors.

A walk to the cherry blossom trees

Yesterday I walked down to the stand of cherry blossom trees that was planted on city council reserve some years back in honour of our sister city Nishio, Japan. The display this year is breath-taking. Beneath these trees are millions of spring bulbs, which have almost finished flowering now but they were a picture a few weeks ago too.
Whoever thought of this initiative deserves to be acknowledged and thanked for the special pleasure this area brings.

Water and walking

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post we stayed in a cottage just out of Masterton, close to Henley Lake. This fresh water lake is extensive and the surrounding park area has various paths to follow.

You can see from the photo that the day was glorious. It was warm, sunny and calm that afternoon. Sometimes in my country the blue sky has a dramatic intensity to it and a vastness that makes me feel like a very small dot in the universe. It was one of those days as we walked for an hour enjoying the large numbers of waterfowl, birds and the soothing properties of the water around us.

There is evidence on some of the paths indicating that regenerative planting has been done with more planned.
My time here in such a beautiful environment certainly eased the stress and busyness I had been feeling as I packed to leave for our holiday.

Anticipation

This time last week I was anticipating what a roadtrip and weekend away could mean for me.  I have checked the  meaning of the word “anticipate” and found the following aspects that applied to me and my planned weekend.

“Anticipate”: To realise beforehand

And: To look forward to

So before we left I realised that if I prepared some food in advance we would not need to trek back and forth to unfamiliar supermarkets and no one would have to spend a lot of time preparing meals.  So we went reasonably laden, including some old favourites such as Date loaf and Spiced Apple Cake, a delicious beef casserole that had been cooked in the slow cooker and a simple meat loaf.  Our accommodation at The Shed  offered full kitchen and cooking facilities so there was no stress or distress arriving to find that we only had a microwave oven to use and a tiny fridge designed for one person!

I also knew that feijoas, a favourite seasonal fruit is plentiful and cheap in Hawkes Bay so I thought about finding at least one bag of those to come home with.  I also thought about Arataki Honey Centre and decided we would call in there and buy some comb honey.

I also spent some time considering what I was looking forward to about this weekend.  I was really keen to feel a sense of relaxation and comfort in the accommodation we booked and photos of The Shed reassured me about that.  I planned early nights and on one morning I took my cup of tea and the paper back to bed…..no cats climbing all over me, no chores needing to be done……bliss.

I anticipated walking the long driveway and looking at the orchards alongside.   (Many of the trees were still laden with a heavy crop of large, red apples.) I anticipated seeing new rural vistas as well as the familiar hills of Te Mata Peak and by contrast the totally flat land of the Heretaunga Plains.

I realised that I had not visited a relative’s burial plot in the cemetery so anticipated a visit to that spot.   Mostly I was looking forward to a change of environment, a change of pace and some refreshment.

Was my anticipation realised?    Yes!   Now with Easter almost here I might spend some time anticipating how this long weekend might be for me…..or I might just trust the process and go with whatever happens…..

A walk from home

The community I live in has a large number of interconnected walkways.  Many of these take the walker well away from busy roads which is a bonus.

One of my favourite sections of walkway tracks along the base of a hill.  There is a small stream that runs alongside the path and the hill and the hill is wooded with regenerating native bush and introduced plants and trees.

One the other side of the path is a school playground and then the backyards and gardens of people’s houses.  A walk along this path offers me such a variety of interesting sights and experiences.  I can enjoy the sounds and activities of the children at school if they are out of the classroom.  I can listen to the sounds of the stream and the various calls and songs of the diversity of bird life, both native and introduced.

I can also enjoy the changes in plants, flowers and trees in the gardens.

I often chose to return home up a steep zigzag path that climbs the hill.  Over the spring and summer I was delighted to see several native pigeons or Kereru.  These are newer visitors (or hopefully residents) to this area.  Tuis, Fantails and Grey Warblers are often to be heard amidst the sounds of sparrows, blackbirds and thrushes.

At the moment the hill is dotted with splashes of intense autumn colour as the leaves on the flowering cherry trees turn and drop.  The native bush is lush and green and very damp smelling as nature produces humus from the falling leaves and twigs.

I can feel a long way from the busyness of life and its stresses and strains as I walk this route.  I return home with my senses revitalised and my energy boosted.